An exciting Fresher’s Week has now come to an end with acts Sigala and Scouting for Girls closing out the arena nights. Therefore, it makes sense if you’ve not found the time in the busy Fresher’s Week schedule to keep a close check on your health. But, freshers, now is time to consider your health, whether that be alcohol consumption, sexual health or even getting signed up with the Medical Centre on campus ready for the year ahead.
Fancy a Drink?
During Fresher’s Week, you may have consumed a fair amount of alcohol in the SU or when assessing the club scene in the city whether that’s at Labs or a cheesy Moles. So here is what you need to know about alcohol: getting drunk regularly can have potentially serious long- term physical effects such as increasing blood pressure and cholesterol, which are both risk factors for strokes and heart attacks.
Drinking too much alcohol can also have social effects such as difficulty maintaining positive relationships with others, and it can impair academic performance as it negatively impacts concentration, and hangovers often mean that you can’t make your dreaded 9:15 lectures so attendance will decline. Therefore, you should aim to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, spaced out across a few days. To work out how many units you drink, you can use an online unit calculator.
Getting Jiggy with It
if you plan to engage in sexual activity, it is time to consider your sexual health. Firstly, you should use contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancy and the transmission of STIs. The SU on campus issues free condoms, and you can collect free condom packs from over 50 venues in Bath and North East Somerset due to the C Card Scheme if you are aged 13-24. Therefore, do not worry about fitting the cost of contraception into your student budget!
Additionally, if you have a new sexual partner, you should have a sexual health check. The NHS run a Sexual Health Clinic in the city centre called The Riverside Clinic, where you can book appointments or attend a walk-in clinic. Friendly staff are here to offer confidential services including STI check-ups and specialist advice and treatment, as well as many other services including emergency contraception and pregnancy testing. The University Medical Centre can also offer sexual health advice if you are a patient there.
It may seem daunting and really scary to get help if you are having a sexual health issue, or even just advice in general. Riverside and the University Medical Centre staff are here to help without judgement. So, get tested and stay protected!
Speaking of the University Medical Centre: you should aim to register as a patient within the first two weeks of arriving at university. This will allow you to register with a doctor and dentist, which is beneficial as you won’t have to have travel home for appointments if you find yourself needing medical or dental advice. To sign up you will need to complete a registration form and provide photo identification. This can be your passport or driving licence, however your university library card will not be sufficient. If you have your NHS card, you will also need this.
When you are registered with the medical centre, you can book an appointment with them for the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, vaccinations, sexual health services and counselling. The best part? The medical centre can be found on the South side of campus, so it is only a short walk away from any of your lectures. Therefore, you’re not having to rely on catching the U1 into the city (which is always a risky move) to get you to appointments on time.
So, that is your Fresher’s Health Roundup completed! Wishing you good luck and good health going into your first week of lectures.